AtoZChallenge 2015: C is for Collaboration

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AtoZ Challenge 2015 Wittegen Press CAtoZChallenge 2015: C is for Collaboration

Hello and welcome to day 3 of the AtoZ Challenge 2015. This year we are talking about the ‘why’ behind our books.

Welcome, this is Tasha, and Sophie will be talking in a little bit, so I shall try and keep it short and sweet πŸ™‚ . Sacrifice of An Angel (scroll down for the FREE book offer) is a contemporary fantasy murder mystery set in the depths of the home counties and it is one of the few books Sophie and I wrote together. Think Harry Potter meets Midsomer Murders.

We decided we wanted to write together and collaborate very early on, even though we have rarely done it before. This is because we believed that together we could bring something to the novel that we might, not necessarily, do alone. Soph is a language geek and really enjoyed putting together a magical language for us. I’m more of a leap to the plot person so I loved hashing out all the ins and outs and that’s just one example for each of us.

It took a lot of preparation to be able to write together, but, in the end, it was very rewarding.

Sophie here now – and yeah, I will agree with Tash that it took a lot of prep to work together (there were some spectacular rows)! Anyway – why – well, I can tell you why I loved writing this book and am looking forward to working on the rest in the series, that would be the twins, our main characters, Remy and Theo. They’re not self-inserts, well there are aspects of us in the twins, the way they interact, the practiced knowing of each other, but they are very different characters from us. It was brilliant fun working on them, planning out who they were, their back stories, everything to do with their daily lives – something that I don’t think I do as a writer when I’m writing alone – not in that much detail anyway. The detail was needed because we were working together and we have to make sure we both understood the universe we were working in.

So, yes, the twins and playing with all that magic in a modern setting were what kept me writing Sacrifice of An Angel.

Do you have a special connection to a character, one you wrote, or one you’ve read or watched?

FREE Book Offer

The Chronicles of Charlie Waterman - Cat's Call by Natasha Duncan-DrakeSacrifice of An AngelΒ by Natasha Duncan-Drake and Sophie Duncan

Code for FREE download at Smashwords*: Β JW57F

The body of a girl in a ceremonial robe is found sprawled on a playground roundabout, her throat brutally ripped out. Is it a ritualistic, magical murder or a setup to distract from the real killer? That is the question that faces Theo and Remy Haward, detectives in the Sorcerous Crimes Task Force (SeCT), when they are called to the scene.

*Click Smashwords to go to the book on their site. Click the buy option. Put the code in the Coupon Code box, click ‘apply coupon’ and the book will be free. Coupon is only guaranteed to be valid for 3rd April so please use immediately.

Β Our other AtoZ blogs:Β Tasha’s Thinkings | Sophie’s Thoughts and Fumbles| FB3X (AC)

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Curse of a Banshee
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  • A great insight into collaboration. I like the bit about needing to have detail so both understood the setting. You’ll keep each other on your toes as well!

  • Co-writing brings back bad memories of college projects. Bleh! Kudos to you two for pulling it off. I recently finished my book and am finding that I miss the characters more than I thought I would.

    Scribbles From Jenn – Visiting from A to Z Challenge

    • It is really hard to let go when you’ve just finished a book, isn’t it – the characters have become so familiar. πŸ™‚ Thanks for stopping by.

    • I never miss the characters right after finishing a book because I’m so glad to have finished, but after a little while I notice their absence. πŸ™‚

  • I think to collaborate at that level takes a very special kind of person β€” okay, two very special people. I don’t know how comfortable I could be inviting someone into my bubble, but maybe I’m just not ready to share my head-space with anyone.
    Having said that, perhaps this type of collaboration is less Cameron/Clegg and more McLaren/Honda, with distinct roles; that could work for me..

    • It is a very different challenge for writers to share a story than writer alone – Tash and I had only done it once before we embarked on Sacrifice of An Angel and that was with fanfic, so it was even weird for us, and we already share a head-space a lot of the time πŸ™‚ It is certainly an interesting journey though.

    • It can be hard to collaborate, but it can help with some of the hurdles too. Having someone who completely understands to bounce ideas off is amazing πŸ™‚

  • Cool C!

    As someone else said bad memories of college πŸ™‚ As a blogger I’ve edited collaborative posts and pulled them together, and also co-wrote a series of posts with a friend a while back so I can start to begin to appreciate but not totally understand how to do a whole story!

    From my own experience I found it was a lot more work than just writing by myself, but that the results can be a whole lot more when you get it right… and that there can be quite a few headaches before you hit the sweet spot!

    Will have to stick this one on my list to read too – reckon at this rate I’ll have ALL my reading for 2015 sorted and we’re only on Day 3 of the challenge!

    Mars xx
    Curling Stones for Lego People

    • I never had this experience of writing a joint piece together in college, because I did engineering at uni, and, although we had to write up a report at the end of our 3rd year project, which was three of us working together, it was all very clear cut, we didn’t have to deal with creative differences :).

      I’ve only done collaborative work for fanfic, we organised Highlander The Fanfiction Season way back in the day with loads of different writers, and, as well as editing each ep, we also worked together on some of them (we found we could write an entire ep in two days if the original writer disappeared on us, which happened a couple of times ;P) I think that collaboration can be put down to desperation!

    • It takes a lot more preparation then writing alone, I can only agree with that, but the payoff is having someone to brainstorm with who completely gets it. Sometimes it feels like one isn’t worth the other though πŸ˜‰

  • I’ve never collaborated before, it seems like a fascinating thing and something you’d have to have real patience for (and absolute trust in your co-writers). Two heads are better than one though, I bet you come up with some great ideas together!

    • We do πŸ™‚ … well I hope we do πŸ˜‰ It probably helps that we’re twins too, because we share a lot of the same likes and dislikes so the arguments didn’t tend to be about things like that.

    • It is so much fun just sitting down and throwing round ideas until something gels – so, yes, two heads are much more fun than one!

  • Remy and Theo sound like excellent reasons to keep going.

    Good luck with the 2015 A to Z Challenge!
    A to Z Co-Host S. L. Hennessy

  • I have never consider collaborating on a writing project. I can imagine quite a few arguments.

    Good luck on the A to Z challenge.

  • I have a special connections with the characters I love, the ones that belong to series I read every year.

  • Interesting. I always thought of writing collaboration as the work to two people who would bounce ideas off each other, be each other’s muses if you will. I didn’t really think of working with someone whose strengths balance your weaknesses. Makes a lot of sense though. I kinda want to do one now.

  • I hope one day to collaborate with either or both of you.

    I have one collaborative work to my name. Pocket-sized Yarns. A collection of indie writers with stories no longer than 540 words. You should check it out. It’s free.

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